LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You Know You're DOOMED When...
You ask your manager what 2 + 2 equals and he replies, "What do you think it equals?"
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
We discuss fiscal policy and read one of your letters.
But First, This Week's Corrections...
You know, one little letter can really cost you. Raul Ramirez of Intuit stopped sniffing toner long enough to catch.
>"My advise in this life is to never tell an Asian woman that she would look
>good as a blonde."
>I think you wanted to say "My advice....."
Take my advice, Raul, and never lick a hot corona wire. But just for you, I'll paint Steph's car!"
So I sit here bored. I've finished the last coding I can do until some new algorithms are tossed my way. When that happens I'll dive back into my editor (Cafe) like a bulldog on an open pack of weenies. But right now, my code is finished.
Playing Space Pokies version 5000.1 for the 400,000,000th time, and racking up even higher scores in "You Don't Know Jack" Vol 3, I feel guilty about not coding at this very moment. Here I am a high-priced Geek and I'm playing games. Then I wondered why they pay us so much. I'm not saying I can retire right now, or as a friend puts it, "go sit on the beach for 6 months." But we are paid much higher than the average American (average income in the U.S. of A. is in the low 30,000's; try living on that in Sillycon Valley.) I think the income issue gets down to two forces, Supply & Demand of Labor, and Productivity.
At the moment there's a huge shortage of qualified software people. I'm not just talking about coders. All areas of the industry are in dire need of more warm bodies to get products to market, deploy, support, and finally, just count the cash. Until the economy face plants, it's a seller's market in the labor business.
The other issue here is productivity. I can't really think of a lot of people in this business who are watching the clock waiting for the whistle at 5 PM. In this industry we work very long hours. We watch people ruin their personal lives just to get Space Pokies version 5000.2 out the door before the end of the quarter. In the last three weeks I've had about two days off, and I still consider myself a light weight compared to a few of my friends who only go home because that's where the supply of clean underwear is.
Why do we do this? Well it can't be the cash. If you moved to another industry, you could have more time off and effectively be paid more per hour than in the software industry. No we do this because we like it. The fact is I would rather be writing software or designing a web site than playing any version of Space Pokies. The industry is full of people who are into solving problems or building something in a way that has never been done before. This is exactly why my friend will never go sit on the beach for six months. After two weeks, he'd go postal.
People would be sound-bited on the news, "Oh he was such a nice young man, walking up and down the beach with his metal detector. Then the life guard asked him to help with a TCP/IP stack, and he just went nuts." The news would cut to shots of the life guard being wheeled into Our Lady of the Margarita Hospital with a modem shoved up his ass. Next a shot of my friend in his dirty t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, handcuffed asking, "does anyone have any suntan lotion?"
This is why I feel guilty at these times when there is no code to write. I could be the man in the flip-flops.
This Month's Really Bitchin' Letter
Dear Mr. Fek'Lar,
I'm the newbie in cube 61. I got this letter from my Director, but I don't understand what it means.
The Newbie in Cube 61
Well Newbie, let's see what this letter really says.
Okay, this is obviously a cry for help.
And to communicate an important observation / opinion and personal news about myself.
I am somewhat please to learn that the mail server is second only to the "grapevine" at the speed at which information is communicated.
Means: "You people ought to try working every now and again."
Although the accuracy ( the grapevine ) is often in question, as it relates to my departure; it is true. I have ( with my family's assistance) made the very difficult decision to leave name of company withheld.
Means: "I am not able to make even the easiest of decisions by myself. This explains much of my tenure as your Director."
I do want to make it clear that I am not running from but moving towards new career challenges.
Means: "The rumors are true, I'm yanking the ripcord on my golden parachute, and heading to Mexico before more embarrassment occurs. Sorry I screwed it up.
Sure it is. Directors always leave when times are great, right?
You are part of an organization that is paramount to the success of the company as it moves deeper into the Enterprise space, where more and more of the "value add" purchased by our customers comes from our offerings. The company has not only said that customer satisfaction is goal one, but it has put in place tangible actions that "talk" very strongly about that objective.
Means: "Please don't quit! I want my stock options to be worth something someday!"
We are very well "organized" to to take advantage of these actions and to quickly take positive steps forward. There exist a great, very customer centric staff, a very knowledgeable and very competent management team, clear corporate direction with great executive support. I trust that you will ( as you have with me ) put your passion, energy and ability behind the management team, to create a truly wonderful experience for our customers.
Means: "So long, suckers!"
Take care and let's stay in touch, name and company withheld
Newbie, I hope this has helped you understand the intent of your former Director. I hope his successor is better. You'll easily be able to tell. They will use words with fewer syllables, and sentences which follow the strict "Noun/Verb" structure.
You can send your manager letters for interpretation to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll publish the best we get.
Let's play, "Who said this?"
"I have to go sign up for life insurance this weekend. I figure working in this valley, I'll die young. My wife should get something out of it."
I need to bury some more money in my backyard.
(Destroyer of Laptops - Morale Officer - The Last Honest Geek)
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